Smart Tips For the First Time Home Buyer

If you’re a long time renter, and starting to examine the purchasing process, here are some helpful tips to ensure that you’re making a smart decision to purchase. It can be surprising how much work and effort goes into buying a home, and a smart decision would be to get qualified by a lender to determine which price range would be the most affordable, and to interview with a few Real Estate agents to find the perfect person to represent you in your first transaction. Once you’ve been qualified, and have a price range to aim towards, you’ll be able to check out different neighborhoods. It is also important to research your agent; have they sold multiple properties in the last year? Make sure your paired with someone knowledgeable in the area you’re looking to live, and someone with an up to date license.

Once you have narrowed down the price range, and right neighborhood, be certain that you’re looking for a property that you can live in for a minimum of five years. If there is nothing in your price range in the neighborhood you desire, it might be worth staying a renter and saving additional funds, so you can afford to buy in the area you want to live. An owner typically does not earn equity on a home until after 5 years, which is generally the breaking even point, according to Zillow statistics. Buying Real Estate can be expensive, risky, and time consuming, so make sure you do your homework, take your time shopping around, and take time to research the real estate market where you’re considering buying.

Tips for Securing Your Apartment for Fall

Having an apartment of your own is a truly wonderful experience, and making certain that your new home is secure while you are away is an important part of the move in process for new movers to learn. Apartment security can be easily overlooked, but here is a checklist the folks over at Zillow have compiled to make the process a bit easier for first time renters.

1.) Check your Detectors- When moving into a new place, be sure to check and make sure your smoke detector is in working order, and make sure there is a carbon monoxide detector in your apartment as well. Make sure that your batteries aren’t dead, and change them twice a year just to be overcautious.

2.) Outer Security Check- Make sure that your outside locks at the entrance of your apartment are working, as they are your first defense, should an unwanted guest attempt to enter. If there is a problem with your lock, contact your property management to get the locked replaced as soon as possible.

3.) Dead-Bolt Check- This goes in line with outer security, and making sure your apartment has a deadbolt, especially if you’re living alone is a top priority. Make sure the dead-bolt is sturdy and properly installed to insure your home’s security.

4.) Do you have a Peephole?- Having a peephole is a great addition to your home’s security, and making sure this isn’t painted over or cleared of debris is important. If you don’t recognize the knock, use the peephole to decipher if you know the knocker, and if you don’t, do not open the door.

5.) First Floor Precautions- If you’re living on a first floor unit, it’s best to take extra precautions on top of those previously listed.  Make sure all of the windows have secured locking systems, or grated coverings, and remember to close the shades when you’re not home. Don’t leave your expensive belongings in plain sight, and if you’ll feel safer with Renter’s Insurance, it might be worth looking into, should a burglary occur when you’re not home.

For more information on Rentals in the Seattle area, visit Ewing & Clark Inc.

Seattle Ranks High in Best 2013 Real Estate Markets

The nation’s real estate market is slowly recovering after the long haul, and 2013 is said to be the year for a turn around. According to the Seattle Pi, San Francisco is predictably the top city, but shortly behind with a secondary market is our very own Seattle. Investors are leaning towards Real Estate because despite the slow recovery they are still able to profit.

The Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report by the Urban Land Institute indicated that San Francisco landed the # 1 spot due to tech, trade, and quality of life in the city along with neighbor San Jose which ranked 3rd on the list. Seattle, along with Houston, was highly ranked because of the growing number of “echo boomers” or those 25-34 year olds. This group has increased by 20% in Seattle, and reflect the future homeowners in the area. Right now the statistics show that this group is currently willing to rent smaller apartments for higher prices as long as they have enticing amenities and close proximity to public transportation. When will the echo boomers make the transition to buyers? Predictably 2013. For more information on the Emerging Trends report, visit the Urban Land Institute.

Seattle Home Show This Weekend

Are you thinking about updating your home, but having a difficult time coming up with savvy ideas for improvements? The Seattle Home Show is in town this weekend, and is the perfect place to gain inspiration for new home projects. The Home Show is the Northwest’s largest consumer home show with everything indoor and outdoor home related.

Photo Courtesy of the Seattle Home Show

The expo begins tomorrow at the Century Link Field Event Center, and will showcase hundreds of exhibits from builders, developers and re-modelers, with the latest models of new appliances, fixtures, and landscaping. There will be seminars throughout the weekend, and special events such as wine tasting to boot! Tickets are $10 in advance, or $12 at the door for adults,  and $7 in advance for seniors. All ticket pricing includes free parking at Century Link Field Event Center, and a free cup of F.X. McRory’s chowder. For more information on the Seattle Home Show, visit their website.

Helpful Home Organization Apps

Organizing your living quarters can be a pain whether you live in a 540 sf apartment, or a 4 bedroom home. With schedules to attend to, appointments to remember, and household items to pick up before you return home from work, keeping your home organized can turn into quite the nightmare. Once you factor in bills, keeping track of maintenance contacts, recipes, and seasonal decorations, your nightmare can quickly become a reality. Lucky for us, in today’s technology driven generation, we’re able to keep track of nearly everything right from our smart phones, and home organization can be a simple solution with a number of apps.

If you’re looking for a place to organize all of your date, Life Topix is a good place to start, with no limits to the amount of organization storage it can keep. It can manage calendars, task lists, projects, notes, shopping lists, household utility information, health, travel, education, you name it. Google Drive is another storage app that can be useful for organizing cloud base information, with the ability to edit and share documents right from Google docs.

Helpful Home Organization Apps

Organizing your living quarters can be a pain whether you live in a 540 sf apartment, or a 4 bedroom home. With schedules to attend to, appointments to remember, and household items to pick up before you return home from work, keeping your home organized can turn into quite the nightmare. Once you factor in bills, keeping track of maintenance contacts, recipes, and seasonal decorations, your nightmare can quickly become a reality. Lucky for us, in today’s technology driven generation, we’re able to keep track of nearly everything right from our smart phones, and home organization can be a simple solution with a number of apps.

If you’re looking for a place to organize all of your date, Life Topix is a good place to start, with no limits to the amount of organization storage it can keep. It can manage calendars, task lists, projects, notes, shopping lists, household utility information, health, travel, education, you name it. Google Drive is another storage app that can be useful for organizing cloud base information, with the ability to edit and share documents right from Google docs.

City Council Approves Registration & Inspection of Rentals

There has been alot of hype in the real estate realm around whether the City Council should approve the program which will require the registration and inspection of all rental properties. But yesterday afternoon  City Council must have agree with the tenant and landlord groups who’ve advocated that tenants have the right to healthy and safe living conditions, because the program was approved.

While many tenants and support groups are excited for the change to take place in 2014, other landlord groups are concerned about the potential fees from rental inspectors that could begin at $150 a day for those refusing to correct the problems. Under the program, all properties that have 10 or more units will need to register with the city prior to Dec 31, 2014, and properties with 1-4 units by Dec 31, 2016. According to the Seattle Times, the vote was 5-0 in favor of the program. For more information on rental property inspections, visit the Seattle Times.

Apartments Sold on Greyhound Station Block to Become Mega Hotel

Last week there were some notable commercial sales in and around Seattle, including one in the Denny Triangle that is staged to make way for a Mega Hotel downtown!

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Seattle based R.C. Hedreen Co. purchased two high rise apartment buildings on the same block as the Greyhound bus terminal for $7 million, and they have plans to build a 1,200 room hotel. Hedreen hopes  to get traffic from the convention center, and has since met with city officials to discuss early design guidance, and a possible office tower could be constructed on 8th and 9th Streets along Howell & Stewart. For more information on this project, follow the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Apartments Sold on Greyhound Station Block to Become Mega Hotel

Last week there were some notable commercial sales in and around Seattle, including one in the Denny Triangle that is staged to make way for a Mega Hotel downtown!

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Seattle based R.C. Hedreen Co. purchased two high rise apartment buildings on the same block as the Greyhound bus terminal for $7 million, and they have plans to build a 1,200 room hotel. Hedreen hopes  to get traffic from the convention center, and has since met with city officials to discuss early design guidance, and a possible office tower could be constructed on 8th and 9th Streets along Howell & Stewart. For more information on this project, follow the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Influx of Hotels Planned for Downtown Seattle

The Downtown Seattle metro area has not seen any hotels break ground in the past two years, and there are no current plans for any to go under construction in the next upcoming months. But according to the Seattle Times, all that might change this year, with current hotels having successful bookings, with little trouble filling rooms, and they’re able to have consistently higher rates. Developers are feeling more confident with those statistics in place, and are moving forward by proposing more hotels pop up in the downtown area.

Downtown Seattle Sheraton, photo courtesy of destination360.com

According to the Times, one of those proposals includes a hotel with 1,200+ rooms, which is larger than any hotel in the area except for the Seattle Sheraton hotel. If all of the projects presented were to be built, the Seattle hotel industry would increase by more than 15%! Developers like Touchstone, Kauri, and Daniels Development among others all have projects in various stages of planning for construction, and Seattleites looking for hotel living should keep an eye out for upcoming hotel projects that have apartment rentals planned into the space as well. For more information on upcoming projects in the Downtown Seattle area, visit the Seattle Times.